With climate change becoming a bigger problem, many public institutions have come forward with new initiatives and projects to create more sustainable practices, which include clean energy. According to a 2019 study, the U.S. received over $700 billion in revenue from the educational green contracting market.
In an effort to advance toward more sustainable solutions, the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU-CDAC), a nonprofit organization advocating for historically Black colleges, created the HBCU Clean Energy Initiative (HBCU-CEI) to establish a detailed plan in advancing sustainability projects across HBCU campuses around the country.
The initiative was created with the support of a previous grant from the National JPB Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting initiatives toward medical research, sustainability, and closing the wealth gap in 2018. Last month, the foundation recently awarded the organization another $700,000 grant to expand its efforts.
“With the JPB Foundation’s increasing their support for our Clean Energy Initiative, we will deliver more residential installations and increase awareness in underserved communities around the country. Low-income homeowners will benefit directly from lower utility bills. This is why we do this work—to bring economic benefits to communities where HBCUs are located,” said Ron Butler, CEO of the HBCU-CDAC in a press statement. “I am delighted that JPB sees the value of our work and is willing to continue investing in our efforts to transform these communities.”
The new grant will be used toward solar installations for moderate-income families and homeowners across various cities like Baltimore, Maryland. The initiative focuses on advancing commercial solar development in addition to creating more energy-related opportunities for small business and job creation for HBCU communities.
The HBCU-CDAC will also be partnering with the U.S Department of Energy and the National Association of State Energy Officers on a new workforce diversity research partnership to create more initiatives across Charlotte, North Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana.